Historical Society2023-01-13T14:56:29-05:00

The Southwest Franklin County Historical Society, Inc.

Serving Franklin, Jackson, Pleasant and Prairie Townships

The mission of the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society (SWFCHS) is to bring together people interested in the history of southwestern Franklin County. Understanding our community’s history is basic to our way of life, gives us a better understanding of our state and nation, and promotes a better appreciation of our American heritage. The society’s major function is to discover and collect information, artifacts and materials that may establish or illustrate the history of our area. Our long-term goals include detailing the history of Grove City, identifying area historic sites and developing Century Village’s historical structures.

Southwest Franklin County Historical Society
3378 Park Street, Suite B, Grove City, Ohio 43123
Steve Jackson, President

Visit the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society website.

Local history is preserved at the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum, 3378 Park Street, in the historic Grove City Town Center. The museum showcases life in southwest Franklin County as it transformed from a farming community into a flourishing suburb houses through the display of artifacts and information representing the history of the area. Visitors discover how the families who moved here lived, worked and established a thriving small-town community. Southwest Franklin County Historical Society maintains rotating historic exhibits.

Grove City Welcome Center and Museum
3378 Park St., Grove City, OH 43123

Grove City Welcome Center and Museum Hours

  • Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon
  • Closed Sunday and Monday

Local veterans uniforms, vintage photo and video cameras, a 1920 loom and a 1901 rug loom.
The oldest items on display are the 1853 baptismal dress of the first child born in the Village of Grove City and a civil-war era, wooden suitcase.

Ford 1912 Model T
Showcase of early travel including horse-drawn wagons, stagecoaches, traction trains, interurban cars and more

Bank Vault
Pictures and other items from businesses including a 1940 cash register from Grove City Lumber
High school class pictures from the early days in the Village to about 1955
School desk from 1930s

Beulah Park Exhibit
Entrance turnstile and memorabilia throughout the years
Highlights video

Jackson Township Fire Exhibit
Photographs include an old barrel on wheels, the 1996 LP Gas fire and explosion
Old firefighter gear including 1940s and 1970s firemen jackets and oxygen masks

Grove City Division of Police Exhibit
Pictures and videos regarding the first K-9 unit in central Ohio
Dress uniform worn by long-time Chief Lightning Evans
Display of Grove City Police emblems, patches, hand-held radar gun

Earl Nicholson’s pencil drawings of Town Center buildings

Little Theatre Off Broadway miniature and photographs

Examine the many household items including a washing machine from 1896, sewing machine from 1920, Victrola which still plays 78 records, rotary dial telephones from the 1940s; and a 1930s, 16mm projector. Reminisce while viewing the photographs of Grove City churches, businesses, churches, events and residents through the years.

Museum staff will collect, protect, preserve and do our best to research the artifacts, documents and photographs that trace the rich history of Grove City and surrounding area through exhibits and historical research. We hold the pieces in our collection in trust for present and future generations. We are eager to display historical items either as a temporary loan to the museum, or you may donate your items (all donations are tax-deductible). Photographs and paper items may be brought in for us to digitally scan, then you can keep the originals! For more information on how you can be a part of the Grove City Museum, call 614-277-3061 or stop by the Museum at 3378 Park Street. We’d love to hear from you!

Monthly Meetings
The Southwest Franklin County Historically Society meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church, 3220 Columbus St., Grove City. For information regarding the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society, contact Steve Jackson 614-871-0081.

Individual: $15 per year
Business: $50 per year
Individual Life Membership: $150

Visit the Grove City calendar for the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society meetings, events and activities.

Group tours of Century Village, the Grove City Museum or historical downtown Grove City are available. Contact Bev Babbert at 614-875-9787. For group tours of the Grant-Sawyer Home, contact the Grove City Museum at 614-277-3061.


Volunteer work is a great way to give your time to the community and share our heritage with the next generation and meet new people. The Southwest Franklin County Historical Society seeks volunteers to help with a variety of activities including:

  • Tours for school children, groups, family groups and clubs.
  • Events at Century Village: summer open houses, Heritage Celebration, Old-Time Harvest Day and Christmas open house
  • Grove City Welcome Center and Museum

Century Village at Fryer Park, 4185 Orders Road, represents life in an emerging central Ohio community during the mid-1800s through the display of buildings and artifacts characteristic of the times. This cooperative, developing effort of the City of Grove City and the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society is home to a number of relocated and reconstructed historic structures, as well as a schoolhouse original to the site.

In 1879, the Orders family deeded an acre to the Jackson Township Board of Education for Schoolhouse No. 10 – “Orders Road School” – where three generations of students received their primary education before the district consolidated in 1928. The land was transferred to the City of Grove City in 1995.
Original to Site • 1880s
Transferred: 1995 • Restored: 2001-2002

This log home was constructed by the William Kegg family between 1860 and 1880. In 1915, property was purchased by the Ruoffs then sold in 1960 to the Kientz Family. The house was dismantled with the help from Orient Correctional Institution inmates and rebuilt by SWFCHS and Grove City.
Original to Kegg Property, Beatty Road • ca. 1860-1880
Transferred: 1997 • Reconstructed: 2003-2004
Donated by: Kientz Family

Constructed on land owned by the Jones family in the 1850s, this barn was dismantled with help from Pickaway Correctional Institution inmates and reconstructed by SWFCHS volunteers and Grove City.
Original to Jones Property, Rensch Road • 1850s
Transferred: July 2003 • Reconstructed: 2006
Donated by: Patty L. Jones

Windmills harnessed wind power to pump water from wells freeing farmers to work on other tasks. This example is reconstructed with parts from two separate windmills.
Original to Borror Farm at Jackson Pike & London-Groveport Road; Demorest Road • post-1870
Transferred: 2007 • Reconstructed: 2008
Donated by M/I Homes and B.J. & Jody Roach

This type of outside toilet was used before more hygienic methods of wastewater disposal such as sanitary sewers.
Original to Baumgartner Farm, Big Run South Road • Unknown
Transferred: Spring 2008
Donated by: Baumgartner Family

Once located on a 203-acre farm, this house constructed by the Haines family prior to 1850 was occupied by the Black family from 1935 until the 1990s.
Original to Borror Road, South of Zuber Road • pre-1850
Transferred: Fall 2009 • Reconstructed: 2009-2012
Donated by: David & Donald Black

Crib barns are multifunctional structures made of rough-hewn logs notched and laid horizontally. The unfilled gaps saved labor and provided ventilation. They sheltered livestock, held feed, stored equipment, housed workshops and more. Original to Perry County, this barn was dismantled and stored before being purchased and reconstructed by the Bob Evans Farm. They donated it to SWFCHS and Grove City.
Original to Perry County • ca. 1860-1890
Transferred: 2009 • Reconstructed: 2010-2011
Donated by: Bob Evans Farms (structure), Andy Deshong (lumber), Jim Brown (hinges & latches)

Blacksmiths were central figures in a growing community. This shop was constructed using original logs from a two-story log home built on Beatty Road in the 1850s and furnished with tools used in Earl F. Augenstein’s Blacksmith Shop on Orders Road, 1952-1997.
Materials Original to: Beatty Road (logs), Orders Road (tools)
Construction: 2011-2013
Donated by: Roger and Jean Spillman (historic logs), Augenstein Family (tools)

This small granary was built on the Ziegenspect Farm, on Harrisburg Pike just South of St. Rt. 665, around 1927. The granary was used to dry seeds for the family to use the following season’s crops. Steve Funk purchased the farm in 2003, donating the granary to the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society and the City of Grove City in 2014.
Original Location: Harrisburg Pike, South of St. Rt. 665
Original Construction: around 1927
Reconstructed: 2014

The Southwest Franklin County Historical Society and the City of Grove City want to thank Dow AgroSciences LLC and Columbus Pest Control, Inc. for help in protecting the historical buildings of Century Village from termite attack. Dow AgroSciences generously has donated Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System with Always Active™ technology, and Columbus Pest Control, Inc. generously has provided system services.

The Grant-Sawyer Home, 4126 Haughn Road.

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